How did Kashgar Turned to a Symbol of China's Ancient Cultural Heritage?

One of the important cities of Xinjiang province of China, which is located in the southwest , is Kashgar, which recently has been shortened to Kashi.

Kashgar or Kashi, with more than 2000 years of history and civilization, is considered one of the most important cities of the ancient Silk Road, which was the gateway of China to the western world and is currently the only historical and national cultural city of China in Xinjiang.

Kashgar has a rich culture, art, architecture and customs, and music has a high place in this city. Their musical instruments, the most famous of which are Dutar and Rubab, which have become the symbol of this ancient Chinese city.

Despite all this, this attractive and spectacular ancient city was a ruin, a garbage dump, and a junkyard until about 20 years ago.

According to the films that belong to before the renovation of the old city, even the wastewater and sewage from the toilets of the houses were poured into the streets, and very ugly and intolerable conditions prevailed in this city. Poverty, darkness and disease cast a shadow on this city until the Chinese government made a big decision about Kashgar.

In 2010, the renovation, restoration and refurbishment project of the old city of Kashgar was started, and with a budget of nearly 7 billion yuan, equivalent to more than 950 million dollars, this city was restored without changing its traditional structure and fully preserving its architecture. Thus, a decaying, uninhabitable garbage dump was transformed into a touristic and eye-catching city.

In the reconstruction plan, no houses, shops, alleys and passages were destroyed, but about 50,000 houses that were almost destroyed were restored and given to their owners, which make up a total population of 220,000 people.

The special attention of the Chinese government to the renovation of the old city of Kashgar and its extensive support in line with the plan of the Chinese Communist Party to revive and strengthen China’s culture, arts and traditions, especially in the Xinjiang region.

Xi Jinping realized almost from the beginning of coming to power in 2013 that China cannot keep the population of 1.3 billion people united and coherent by only resorting to Marxist-Leninist ideology and communist teachings.

He observed that the way to keep the Chinese people united against potential and actual threats, especially of the cultural, economic and even military hegemony of the US, is to strengthen the spirit of nationalism amongst Chinese people.

Xi Jinping considers one of the main axes of strengthening the spirit of nationalism in the Chinese people to be the revitalization of Chinese culture, art and indigenous and ancient traditions, so he ordered a huge investment in this field.

The Chinese government pursues three major goals from the policy of strengthening ancient Chinese culture and traditions;

First, in order to rejuvenate and strengthen the sense of nationalism in the Chinese people.

Second, the increase of China's cultural soft power, which it needs to counter the soft power of America and Western countries.

And thirdly, removing the grounds of people's tendencies towards terrorist, extremism and separatist movements, especially in the Xinjiang region, through economic development, cultural development, growth of self-confidence and increasing identification of the people of these regions with the capital.

The attention of the Chinese government to the old city of Kashgar has caused millions of domestic and foreign tourists to visit this city every year.

Every day before the opening of the old city gate, several traditional art ceremonies are held.

Such a ceremony is performed by different groups of prominent traditional artists from all over Kashgar and Xinjiang, which is highly sought after by tourists.

Since several different events are held daily and regularly, the art economy is well established in this city and hundreds of art groups are working and active.

Before the outbreak of Covid 19 pandemic, more than 100 million tourists visited the old city of Kashgar every year. The city's annual income from tourism is over 180 billion yuan, equivalent to 28.5 billion dollars.

News ID 196361

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